PIMLICO PICKS AND PONDERINGS: SEPTEMBER 9, 2022
In which we pick the races from Pimlico each day…
Post time: 12:40 p.m
Carryovers: Rainbow Jackpot Pick 6 — $0 Super High 5 — $0
Late Pick 5 — $0
Check out our other handicapping here!
RACE 1: MAIDEN CLAIMING $12,500, 2-YEAR-OLDS, 6 FURLONGS
Hi ho Pimlico! There’s nine races on the schedule for the first day of the September meet. #5 I Once Stood Alone (2-1) made his first start off the layoff last out at Timonium and finished a clear-cut second after chasing the pace. It looks like that layoff did him some good, as he ran a new career-top brisnet figure of 72. He’s going to be tough on the lead. #6 Army Cadet (5-2) has worked consistently well at Charles Town for Anthony Farrior and ships here for his debut. Farrior hit at 10% at the Laurel Park summer meet, a much lower strike rate than he gets at his home base. He’s 3-for-18 with first-time starters on the year, but this gelding does face a pretty soft field here. He could be interesting if he goes off at a decent price. His stablemate, #1 Country Charlie (9-5), has raced at Charles Town a few times and chased the pace to finish second last out. He’s been consistent but his ceiling doesn’t appear to be as high as that of I Once Stood Alone.
RACE 2: CLAIMING $16,000 (N/W2L), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 6 FURLONGS
#6 Bowie Two Step (3-1) ran back-to-back lifetime-top figures in each of his last two dirt starts. He broke his maiden with a game late rally at Laurel two starts back. He outfinished Pop Pop Susi and Mr. Mosley that day, both of whom came back to win their next starts. In his most recent dirt try, he ran an impressive 77 although he was outkicked late and finished a clear-cut second. #4 Heads or Tails (2-1) drops to this level for the first time for Bob Klesaris. He hasn’t run worse than a 71 on dirt this year and will be near the early pace. Those New York class lines might make some bettors starry-eyed, lowering his odds to an unbettable level. #1 Eleazar (3-1) goes first off the claim for Charles Frock. Last out, he set the pace on grass and battled on in the stretch to lose by a neck. He’s one of the most lightly-raced horses in the field.
- WVBC: Bocachica hoping to be “as lucky” as in 2021The seemingly ageless Cordmaker earned the first graded stake win of his career when he surged to victory in Saturday’s G3 General George at Laurel park.
RACE 3: MAIDEN SPECIAL WEIGHT, 2-YEAR-OLDS, FILLIES, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#6 Nuwanda (6-1), one of two in here for Mike Trombetta, has shown different dimensions in her two grass starts. Two races back at Colonial Downs, she showed speed and faded. Last out, she overcame a wide trip and got up for third after racing off the pace, running a career-best figure of 67. #4 Positive Message (5-2) was well-backed on debut at Saratoga. She made the front after a bit of an awkward break, but tired in he last eighth. She’s cutting back from 1 1/16 miles and facing, presumably, an easier field. Merits respect second time out for Graham Motion, who puts the hot-riding Jevian Toledo aboard. #2 My Forever Friend (5-1) looked well-meant in her first start, but the $110,000 yearling purchase began a bit slowly and showed little. She’s switching to grass second time out for Brittany Russell. I’m curious.
RACE 4: STARTER ALLOWANCE $5,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 6 FURLONGS
#4 Betcha by Golly (8-5) has faced much better horses at this level this year, including five-time 2022 winner Acadian Girl and Timonium Distaff victor Breviary. She should have little trouble with these as long as she runs her usual mid-80s figure. #5 Volnay (7-2) has steadily improved since getting claimed by Gina Perri earlier in the year. She won three in a row earlier this season, and although she was fourth last out, she ran a career-best mark of 81. #2 Hush Y’all (5-1) cuts back around one turn and goes third off the layoff for Michael Gorham. She’s closed well in her last two races and can rally for a piece at a good number.
RACE 5: MAIDEN CLAIMING $30,000, 3, 4, AND 5-YEAR-OLDS, 1 MILE (GRASS)
#3 Imagine It All (9-2) returns to grass after a try around the bullring at Timonium. He dropped to this level for the first time two races back and showed speed before fading late. It was a respectable effort for his first two-turn try and he has room to improve. #2 Cash Rocket (4-5) races for the first time for Brittany Russell and makes his first start since mid-March at Fair Grounds. He came back to the worktab in late June, was stopped on briefly, and has two recent workouts under his belt. Russell had a sub-standard Laurel meet, although she had a great closing weekend, and he’s guaranteed to get pounded at the windows based on his class lines and connections. However, his figures, while the best in the field, are not completely dominant compared to those of the others, and he hasn’t raced in a while. He has a chance but is tough to take at odds-on. #8 The Last Scip (5-1) showed little at Colonial last out but ran an 84 and a 78 in his two prior grass starts. He has a chance to upset if he bounces back.
RACE 6: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $30,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/8 MILES
#6 Fortune’s Fool (3-1) lasted through pace pressure to win gate-to-wire at this level last out. He’s been competitive against these types all year and hasn’t run worse than an 84 in his last three races. #4 Caribbean (9-5) is at his best when he gets the lead. The last three times he was in front at the opening quarter point, he won. The last three times he didn’t get to the lead early, he was defeated. Fortune’s Fool will try to challenge him up front, but if Caribbean outruns him, he’s going to be tough to beat. #1A Bumperdoo (5-2), one of two in here for Jamie Ness, has run a 91 in his last two starts and has great late pace figures. Look for him to roll late.
- BackTracks: The kingly Henry of NavarreIn today’s BackTracks, New Jersey-bred Henry of Navarre found Hall of Fame success on the racetrack and later played a more martial role.
RACE 7: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, MD-BRED, 1 MILE (GRASS)
A very competitive field has assembled for today’s co-feature. #9 Power Back (7-2) won an open n/w1x race two races back, then improved to an 85 last out when he recovered for fourth after a slow break. He’s been getting better with every grass race this year and will try to work out a great stalking trip on the outside. #3 Kobe Tough (4-1) stretches out around two turns and drops in class after facing n/w2x types at Colonial and Saratoga. In his best race, hr was sent to the front and cruised to a gate-to-wire victory. It’ll be interesting to see if that strategy is employed here. #8 Benny Havens (6-1) hasn’t won in more than three years, due to his lack of early speed. However, he has some of the best late pace figures in the race and cannot be discounted from trifecta and superfecta tickets.
RACE 8: ALLOWANCE (N/W1X), 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, 1 1/16 MILES
#3 Dream Big Dreams (7-5) ran in the mid/upper-80s consistently last year, but didn’t return to the races until August 5. He went off as the favorite at this level but was flat. I’m willing to give him another chance with a recent race in him. #6 Vinny (5-1) goes first off the claim by Anthony Aguirre after a dominant 13-length win against softer last out. There isn’t much speed to his inside so he should be able to clear and get the trip he wants. #1 Welling (3-1) sat the trip at Timonium last out but couldn’t convert. He ran consistently good figures prior to that race and hopes to improve with a return to the big track.
RACE 9: STARTER OPTIONAL CLAIMING $16,000, 3-YEAR-OLDS AND UP, FILLIES AND MARES, 5 FURLONGS (GRASS)
#2 Willow Moon (5-2) returned to the grass for the first time in a long time last out, and led most of the way before tiring late. She looks fast enough to clear to the lead and will try to hang on all the way around this time. #6 Tiz Susan Ann (4-1) closed well to lose by two lengths in her most recent grass try and looks to bounce back off a dull effort last out. This will be her first race since July 10. #3 Trikki Nikki (6-1) ran in the 70s in her first three grass races of the year and closed to win a washed-off race at Penn National last out. She has a win on this track but might need to improve a few points to seriously contend with these. Still, she has enough of a closing punch to round out the exotics.